2970 Tasting Notes

85
drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
2970 tasting notes

Thought I’d try a couple new teas tonight. I may regret this, as it’s “lights out” in like 11 minutes…

Anyways! This was one of the lucky winners. I’ve been super curious, so into the infuser it went! The floral-y/citrusy aroma is oddly familiar (can’t say I know what either saffron or frankincense smells like, so I’m not sure if it’s that), but underneath the familiar aroma is definitely Verdant’s distinctive tieguanyin. The flavour is much the same – a solid base of the vegetal, delicious oolong overlaid with citrusy and floral notes. I was going to mention that I wasn’t really getting bergamot in here, so it wasn’t really working as an “earl something” for me, but I see that there is no bergamot – the citrus is orange peel! I think I personally prefer this choice of citrus, and am finding that it compliments the oolong very well. The jasmine is likely providing the floral note that I’m picking up, but I love that it has been so delicately used such as to not overpower everything else. (Now that I read there’s jasmine in here, I imagine that the familiarity in aroma may have been in part attributed to it.)

I am really enjoying this blend – all of the different elements are making it quite a treat to drink, and I have to say that I could see myself preferring this to a straight tieguanyin just because it’s so interesting, yet retains the strong oolong character.

Great tea for tonight!

ETA: Second infusion (didn’t pay attention to parameters) is super strong today! It probably got around 3 mins, and the aroma is definitely of jasmine, and the orange peel is still a prominent flavour, along with what’s likely the frankincense? Either way, it could stand to be a bit more dilute, but it’s quite delicious. Can still taste the oolong as well. Mmmmm.

ETA again: This tea does not quit! There is still a ton of flavour on infusion 3 (lovely orange, light oolong, probably frankincense, less jasmine). Delicious. Also, I noted waxy stuff on the bottom of my last cup – must be that the frankincense melted and sank to the bottom during the infusion. I opted to use a metal infuser in case wax got on it that I needed to clean… I guess I’ll see how it fared after another few infusions!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
CrowKettle

Glad to hear it’s orange peel and not bergamot! I’ve been curious about this one for a while now.

Kittenna

If you like tieguanyin, I’d recommend picking up a sample!

CHAroma

“I may regret this, as it’s “lights out” in like 11 minutes…” LOL! I just can’t stop reading your tasting notes even though I’m late for work. They’re too good!!

Bonnie

Glad you did more than one infusion because the frankincense blooms with each infusion since it’s a hard resin that softens with the hot water and releases flavor and fragrance.

Kittenna

Bonnie – it definitely seems to have come out more in the second infusion, if the flavour I think it is is correct! I think I will do a third today if I have time!

Azzrian

Lights out? AS in they make you go to bed at a certain time or is this your own lights out rule?

Kittenna

Hahaha, definitely just my own attempt at better bedtimes. I am so far failing. Sigh.

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100

This tea just hasn’t been living up to expectations lately, and I’m starting to suspect it’s an age thing. It is a green oolong, and I think I’ve had this tea for probably more than 10 months. It’s just not as good anymore (infusing in a travel mug at work also isn’t optimal). Ah well. First tea love, you were awesome, and hopefully you will be again!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec
TeaBrat

I do like this one!

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79
drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
2970 tasting notes

Yep… this 52g bag that I was given from a store in BC last year is definitely a gooder. I have been basking in delicious chocolate orange aroma for the last couple hours, and the flavour is pretty darn amazing. The tea in this bag doesn’t even smell fishy, whereas the other batch I have (or had, I may have given some away) definitely did.

Either way, this is pretty darn good. Still getting that scritchy scratchy throat thing with this tea… not sure what that’s all about, but it seems to happen with flavoured rooibos sometimes too. Unfortunately, the knowledge that I have 1.5 Terry’s chocolate oranges sitting at home waiting to be eaten means that this tea is definitely NOT satisfying my cravings today… but it works decently the rest of the year!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2970 tasting notes

Sipdown, woooo!!! Although this will be extremely short-lived, as I’m making a necessary 2 oz. order of this tonight. Or tomorrow. Very, very soon. Today I mixed a couple batches’ worth together, some from my very first sample of Laoshan Black, when I thought I hated all straight black teas and requested David Duckler to send this one as my sample tea just so I could try it, and the last of my 1 oz. packet from a few tea purchases ago. The tea was delicious as always, even steeped directly in my new travel mug today. :)

I think I have a bit of Zhu Rong (Rhu Zong? I can never remember…) left, along with Teavivre’s Fenqing Black Dragon Pearls, to tide me through this horrible lack of delicious chocolatey black morning teas. Hopefully I don’t have to resort to picking through my Laoshan Village Chai to find enough of this tea for a cup!

ETA: WOW. My second infusion of this one, which I left for about 4 minutes, tastes almost exactly like dark hot chocolate. Holy incredible deliciousness. I am not kidding at ALL. I wish this cup would last forever… it tastes like at least 200 more calories/cup than it is…

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec

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86
drank Ginger Pear by Simpson & Vail
2970 tasting notes

Tasty morning tea. Got a piece of ginger in the infuser this morning, and definitely can taste it (though it’s certainly not overpowering!) I guess it may just be a bit hit or miss, as I don’t think there are a lot of ginger pieces in here.

Also, it got an extra minute this morning and is not suffering at all for it, which is great!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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96
drank Milk Oolong by Bon The Place
2970 tasting notes

I cannot focus at ALL today. I slept badly and am facing a huge decision in probably the next few days… whether or not to stay here and commit to a PhD in an area which will be extremely challenging for me, which also means that I won’t be done school until I’m over 30… Gah. Major decision stress, on top of the fact that I’m supposed to be finishing my Masters project by April….

Anyways… drinking some of this in the hopes of finding some sort of answers?? Or at least, a way to focus and make some progress on work… I’ve been sitting here for nearly an hour and a half and all I’ve managed to do is drag a few calculations down an Excel column, and trim a substantial number of split ends… Well, at least this tea is delicious and reliable. Sigh.

(Yep, sorry, hardly a tasting note at all, just a life rant. Bleh.)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Dinosara

If you need someone to chat with about the decision of entering a PhD program, PM me. Not sure what your field is, but I’m a PhD student myself finishing my program now (and desperately hoping I get a job for next year).

Sil

moar school! shudder I hope you’re able to figure things out and, if nothing else, enjoy some good tea while trying to come to a decision.

TheTeaFairy

This kind of dilemma requires lots of reflexion and thinking, Good luck on your decision Kittenna…

OMGsrsly

I’m over 30, just finishing my undergrad, and thinking about doing a Masters. ACK! Finishing school late truly isn’t a horrible thing. It might mean you’re competing with much younger folks in the job market when you’re done, but your maturity will give you an advantage.

Anyways, it sounds like a perfect reason to drink more tea.

Indigobloom

awww hugs
I hope you sort out your school issues soon. And not to be selfish or anything but I do also hope you stay within driving distance of Toronto :D

Kittenna

Thanks guys! I’m just so up in the air right now…. I’ll get some more facts in the coming days and will undoubtedly be given a deadline as to when I have to make the decision by. Can’t wait…

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95
drank Mulberry Magic by DAVIDsTEA
2970 tasting notes

Mmmmm, vegetal and nutty, delicious as usual.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

That’s the one DT 100gr tin I can’t live without Kittenna, No matter how often I have it, I’m always amazed at how buttery and tasty it is :-)

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93
drank Rooibos de Provence by DAVIDsTEA
2970 tasting notes

I don’t mind this one, but now I feel like it’s too rooibosy for me. There are nice berry and lavender flavours (and what’s coming off to me as a hint of juniper?) but this isn’t something I’d pick up again.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Alpine Punch by DAVIDsTEA
2970 tasting notes

Mmmm, could have steeped this longer but this is tasty, coconutty, almondy goodness. Perfect late night treat :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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64
drank Razzmatazz (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2970 tasting notes

Yum, lemony raspberry. Neither the hibiscus nor stevia cause problems here, it’s just a true raspberry flavour with lemony tanginess. Certainly much better than DT’s previous incarnation of a raspberry rooibos blend.

ETA: Also makes a yummy second infusion. Even infused for like two hours, ahahaha.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
CrowKettle

To this day I still feel guilty for gifting someone a tin of Raspberry Nectar. I can only hope they enjoyed it…

Kittenna

Well, some people liked it! Oh well, live and learn!

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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